As a stroke survivor I tend to become fascinated with most things dealing with protecting my brain.
I had a stroke during my sleep; I could have actually died peacefully in my sleep. However I did not die and I am grateful and so blessed. Digressing into a little psychotherapy – for a long time, post stroke, I associated sleep with death which caused me to stay awake as long as I could, resting only intermittently throughout the day, like cat napping. Naps are wonderful but you need 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. My attempts to stay awake for 24 hours a day most days were both unhealthy and insane! At the top of this year 2016 I was introduced to the possibilities of medical cannabis to aid me with my inomnia.
Like many of you might be thinking, I was mortified about having to ask around for the “weed guy” after consulting some sketchy doctor, and then lean how to roll a joint and sit around smoking joints to fall asleep. I don’t smoke, I missed that part of youth culture where your friends attempt to pressure you or show you how to do something taboo. Someone recently admitted to me that since I wear my hair in locks, I must be a weed head. The nerve. I like to wear orange too, does that make me a carrot? I’ve been around smokers for many years and I have smokers in my life and what I recall and know of them, passing judgement, I wanted no part.
However unlike many of you, after my friend talked to me about the cannabis possibility, I started to investigate this plant by doing some recon. I attended cannabis talks, I read books, blogs are newsletters, I talked to people in the cannabis industry, visited a about a dozen dispensaries (stores that sell medical cannabis flower and products) and talked to the people who work there … baby steps. What I learned through my recon is that scientists have discovered in the early 90’s that we have an Endo-Cannabinoid system (ECS). That is a central regulatory system which affects a wide range of biological processes in our body consisting of molecules called cannabinoids and the receptors that they bind to. CB-1 receptors are in the brain, CB-2 receptors are in the body, immune system, nervous system, cardiovascular system, reproductive system and the urinary and gastrointestinal tracts.
The brain stem has the most opiate receptors of any other part of the body which is why ingesting large amounts of opiates can cause an overdose in the brain stem. And damaging the brain stem disrupts our natural ability to breathe. The result is death! However when anyone over-consumes [not to be confused with over dosing] cannabis = smokes too much weed, eats too much weed, the powerful effects will pass over time. Unless you smoke something like 1,500 joints in one day, you will not die from over consuming. You’ll feel uncomfortable for a while but you won’t die. That uncomfortable feeling ranges from feeling loopy/heady/dizzy to feeling sleepy which is why labels state that after ingesting cannabis you should not operate machinery (cars, busses, planes, trains, etc.). Being “high”can include the inability to focus. While ingesting/dosing cannabis properly can assist in your concentration but you must know what you are doing and why and you must know what strain you are taking and why. There is much work to be done when contemplating cannabis medicine. I don’t suggest you take anything from friends or family without researching first. Everyone handles cannabis differently. My cannabis is for certain conditions for ME so sharing it with YOU is not smart but it won’t hurt you. Certain strains of cannabis can enhance your sensory experiences [this is recreational use] like eating, writing, painting & making love to your partner, listening to music. Certain strains aid with eight loss and weight gain depending on your goals. I’ll save that data for another post in this series.
I will add this note, when you hear news reports that some person had some accident involving a vehicle and “marijuana was found in their system” my guess it was some knucklehead or novice who had no idea what they were doing when they decided to medicate with cannabis outside of their home. Or when there is a report of some kid who ate candy “poisoned with marijuana,” some irresponsible adult did not secure their edibles so a kid got into it.
In spite of the U.S. government propaganda films to demonize cannabis as one of those “drugs” that can kill you, or as a gateway “drug” that will cause you to experiment with other damaging drugs, it actually holds the use patent on cannabis as a medicine. Read it right here – courtesy of Wikimedia – federal information there for all of us to read IF we know what to look for and where to look for it. Have you ever heard that information can be HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT? Well folks exhibit A=U.S. Patent # 6,630,507 B1. The U.S. government has classified cannabis as a schedule one drug on the books meaning that it has no accepted medical use. While knowing that cannabis is neuroprotective. So if you have had a stroke or are in the middle of a stroke you CAN USE certain components of the plant to minimize the damage that a stroke can do to your brain. Humph funny that…
Full pages here for you to print. 26 in total: us-pot-patent-full-pgs
Cannabinoids are THCa/ THC/ THCv/CBN/CBDa/CBD/CBGa/CBG & CBC. Yes this list looks like something your Science teacher would write on a blackboard and you are uninterested in the information until test time rolls around but let me break some of it down for you in a fun way.
Here we go, Stoners/Pot heads/Weed heads/Slackers/Hippies, whatever you want to call them, all fall under the same stereotype because of the way that THC affects their behavior. THC is the most psychoactive part of the cannabis plant. It makes people feel HIGH. CBD & CBC are the non-psychoactive part of the plant. CBD an analgesic elevates and eventually eliminates the pain from your body. Research is finding that CBC is 10 times more potent than CBD. It has been shown to slow the growth of tumors which is exciting research! No one can feel HIGH from ingesting, absorbing or “smoking” CBD/CBC.
This cannabis plant, that old films like Refer Madness and modern films like any Seth Rogan movie which depicts young people, musicians, & all artsy folks as pot heads when it, is actually a medicine. If you observe with your own eyes how cannabis oils stop seizures, alleviate affects of autism, protect healthy cells while simultaneously killing cancer cells, and assists in building new pathways in the brain where blood clots have damaged pathways, you would be enthusiastic about this plant as well. Aloe vera is healing, peppermint is healing, camomile is healing, cannabis is healing.
The traditional method of intaking cannabis is stereo typical and boring in my opinion. If YOU want to roll a joint and light up to puff puff pass – have at it. No judgement at all. I’ll be having a cocktail.
These days there are much more sophisticated ways to ingest cannabis. MY preferred methods are: topicals (lotions, creams, sprays), edibles of all kinds (sweets, savory meals, snacks,), Vaping (ingesting cannabis clouds or fumes) by attaching an oil cartridge to a battery that heats the oil, or decarboxylation (heating, mildly cooking) the flower and inhaling the clouds. There is no carbon inhalation involved with vaping which keeps your lungs clean. Sublingual (Tinctures and drops) Topicals are absorbed into your body on a cellular level the medicine does not enter your blood stream. It goes straight to the pain and abates. Edibles take about an hour to feel the effects because eating anything is processed through your liver before it gets released into your blood stream and then travels through your ECS. The effects are very strong with edibles so watch out for my post on proper dosing before you try anything. Vaping much like smoking goes right to your CB-1 [brain] receptors, the effects are felt almost immediately. Tinctures are to be inserted under your tongue for swift absorption into the blood stream.
After months of recon, attaining medicine or where to purchase cannabis is a no brainer to me. The days of going to the local “weed guy” is dead. Besides who knows with what the black market sellers lace their cannabis. I wouldn’t trust it. But I wish all “weed guys and gals” well in their hustle. Going to an accredited cannabis doctor to receive a proper medical recommendation is the only way to purchase cannabis. Frankly that is the future. Taking your medical recommendation to a cannabis dispensary that tests the flower that is purchased from local growers in a lab is the safest and best way to go. If I don’t know where the flower comes from or how it was processed for sale I don’t bother. Price varies at every dispensary so shopping around is best. After all it’s my body and with education and guidance from those who study cannabis as a medicine, I strive to protect my neurons and protons.
So, am I searching for ways to “smoke weed” without guilt or shame? Or am I justifying a newly found vice and encouraging you to do the same? To that I say HA! Deem me as a person who likes “reefers” if you care to. I deem myself as a bright woman who is taking my health into my own hands with the guidance of natural health care professionals. Cannabis is just a small [but fascinating] part of it…
…and it’s All Good!